One of the eight Annual Academic and Facility Recommendations (AAFRs) for school year 2012-2013 was the South High School (land only – 2008 Bond Program).

The Superintendent designated the Office of Academics, led by the Chief Academic Officer, to facilitate the initial planning phase for the South High School Planning Committee (SHS). The charge of the SHS was to address the issue of academic programming of a new south Austin high school. To provide information and give context to the guidance, the planning committee engaged the community by hosting community engagement meetings, presenting information in a concise, readable format, and soliciting the community’s feedback.


The SHS convened a total of 11 meetings: five in Fall 2012 and six in Spring 2013. Five total community engagement meetings occurred in south Austin high schools to distribute and present information to community members and solicit input regarding the draft academic scenarios.

The SHS:

1. Presented information regarding the draft academic scenarios;

2. Requested information and presentations from Austin ISD staff regarding South Austin demographics, data on overcrowding, and academic programs;

3. Developed and launched a survey for high school and middle school students;

4. Participated in a survey regarding their own personal preference for the academic programming; and

5. Crafted a guidance statement regarding the academic programming for the future South Austin high school.

To inform the SHS’s guidance, the following data was taken into consideration:

1. Data from community engagement meetings;

2. Student surveys;

3. A survey of planning committee members; and

4. Four Quadrant Information Analysis of each draft academic scenario.

Draft Academic Scenarios

The SHS explored six draft academic scenarios:

1. International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 

2. International Baccalaureate Career-Related Certificate – NOTE:  The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a prerequisite for the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Certificate thus these two academic scenarios were paired for presentation purposes. 

3. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with Project Lead the Way 

4. Early College High School 

5. Career and Technical Education 

6. Other Possible Academic Scenarios – NOTE: As presentations were made at community engagement meetings, the opportunity was provided for participants to suggest other possible academic scenarios. There is no one-pager of other possible academic scenarios.

AAFR SHS Community Engagement

The following Power Point was presented at the five community engagement meetings that occurred at five high schools. The draft academic scenarios one pagers (hyperlinked above) listed above were also presented. 

SHS Guidance Statement

The AAFR South High School commends the following for the future South High School’s academic programming:

A comprehensive high school that supports academics as the highest priority where academic challenge is provided for all students and includes an emphasis on co-curricular activities such as UIL academics and other academic competitions such as debate, science fair, and robotics. Additional extracurricular activities would include athletics, clubs, and social events.

The comprehensive high school would offer several specific programs:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): STEM curriculum that provides for introductory STEM, not limited to Project Lead the Way, to allow for more advanced STEM principles and concepts.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE): A CTE sequence of courses that articulate into college credit and/or industry credentials. Students are recruited into CTE pathways and are supported toward completion of the sequence of courses that lead to the acquisition of articulated college credit and/or industry credentials.
  • Early College High School (ECHS): In collaboration between a local college or university to offer sequence of courses that meets both high school requirements and college credit acquisition up to an associate’s degree. Students seeking ECHS as their program of choice have full participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program: Based on demand from students and community, IB would be an add-on and phase-in program in subsequent years. There is no need to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Certificate (IBCC), as it duplicates the CTE and STEM programs.